The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) recently held its 2nd Thought Leadership Forum (TLF), “Advancing Competition Policy for Business Sustainability” at the Mandarin Oriental Manila.

Invited to share their views on the topic were Hon. Tomas V. Apacible (Vice Chairman of the Committee on Trade and Industry of the House of Representatives), Ms. Zenaida Cuison Maglaya, (Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry), Dr. Rafaelita Aldaba (Senior Research Fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies), Atty. Rodolfo Salalima (Vice Chairman of the International Telecommunication Union Council Working Group for the Amendment of the ITU Constitution and Convention), and Atty. Lai-Lynn Barcenas (Associate Director of the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center).

“We are committed to create a level playing field of competition for all our members,” affirmed President Ms. Fe Perez-Agudo. “Last year, we opened the discussion on competitiveness by supporting government initiatives aimed at open trade and liberalization. This year, we continue our efforts by educating the Filipino on the importance of a comprehensive competition policy.”

The Forum addressed the following questions like the Philippines' readiness for a comprehensive competition law, the benefits of such a law and policies for businesses and consumers, as well as how the legislation will respond to goals surrounding increased international competitiveness.

The general consensus showed that a coherent and comprehensive competition law and policy must be put in place in order to bring about better technical efficiency, allocative efficiency, dynamic efficiency, consumer welfare, market regulation, equity and other gains from continuous innovation and flexibility.

“We believe in creating an environment of innovation as a platform for the sustainability of the automotive industry,” observed Ms. Agudo. “As we move towards a globalized world economy, barriers to competition must be taken down and not reinforced. The potential to grow in an open and competitive market environment should be encouraged. We cannot rely on the government alone. We must do our part to ensure that the automotive industry is constantly moving forward. The focus should be on market-based innovations, including manufacturing efficiency, productivity, product design, and engineering, after-sales service, and total customer experience.”